Metal Related • United Kingdom
MetalMusicArchives.com — the ultimate metal music online community, from the creators of progarchives.com
DARKHER picture
Jayn H Wissenberg, a vocalist and songwriter from West Yorkshire, UK along with her guitarist/bassist husband Martin T Wissenberg and as of 2017 former My Dying Bride drummer Rick Miah are the members of Darkher. The music ranges from sparse ethereal folk to doom bordering on metal but is included here as metal related as the debut album Realms, released in 2016 is not a metal album per se.

Nightfly 2017.
Thanks to Nightfly for the addition

DARKHER Online Videos

No DARKHER online videos available. Search and add one now.

Buy DARKHER music

More places to buy metal & DARKHER music

DARKHER Discography

DARKHER albums / top albums

DARKHER Realms album cover 4.62 | 3 ratings
Metal Related 2016

DARKHER EPs & splits

DARKHER The Kingdom Field album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
The Kingdom Field
Metal Related 2014

DARKHER live albums

DARKHER demos, promos, fans club and other releases (no bootlegs)

DARKHER re-issues & compilations

DARKHER singles (0)

DARKHER movies (DVD, Blu-Ray or VHS)



Album · 2016 · Metal Related
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
One thing I've always loved about album art is how it reflects the music within. Of course the music should also speak for itself, but album covers can still give a taste of what's to come when done correctly. So, reader, I make this request: just look at the art for Darkher's debut album Realms. A woman with a black cloak looks down, as if in grief or simply melancholy, as she's enveloped in different shades of gray encompassing both the sky and the ground. A mass of storm clouds can be seen up above, and there's an aura of bleakness to the overall picture. After giving Realms repeated listens, I can certainly say that it lives up to its album cover in every way.

To clarify things, here's the deal: Darkher is considered the alias of a singer-songwriter known as Jayn Wissenberg, hailing from Yorkshire, England. In actuality, Darkher are currently a trio, the other members being guitarist Martin Wissenberg and drummer Shaun "Winter" Taylor-Steels (according to Facebook, at least). However, Jayn is definitely the heart and soul of this project; she's the vocalist, the primary guitarist, the producer, and the lyricist, so it's fair to say that she's the driving force. When you get to the music itself, Realms is a gothic experience with elements of doom metal, folk, post-metal, and ambient music; the atmosphere ranges from deeply melancholic to eerily unsettling, and there never seems to be an uplifting moment to be found. By far, the best aspect of the record is Jayn herself. Her vocals are simply wonderful, with a haunting and almost operatic quality to them, and they're layered over the music with a large amount of reverb. This works especially well in songs like "Hollow Veil" and "Wars," in which her evocative voice clashes with the metallic doom-laden guitars just perfectly.

Despite a consistently dark and grim atmosphere, there's still variety and genre-bending to be found. Realms happens to be one of those records in which the metal elements don't necessarily outweigh the softer moments. In fact, the intro "Spirit Waker" and the interlude "Buried Pt. 1" rely entirely on dark ambient instrumentation to establish the desired atmosphere; the latter is especially effective because of how Wissenberg's drawn-out vocals meld with the dreary soundscapes. Needless to say, it's a great fit for a song called "Buried." Of course, there's also "Buried Pt. 2," which builds on its predecessor with more frequent dynamic shifts and murky electric guitar riffing mired in incredibly slow tempos. But unfortunately, the one big problem I have with Realms has to do with the tempos in general. As much as the slow riffing and long instrumental buildups assist in enveloping the listener in the album's world, it also causes the record to be slightly homogeneous after a while. For instance, "Foregone" mostly relies on one particular motif as it builds and builds into a clangorous climax of pounding guitars and drums, but the sluggishly paced buildup feels a bit tedious and dull. At the very least, the track probably shouldn't have been the longest on the album at over 7 minutes. Regardless, the record still ends on a strong note with the fittingly-titled "Lament." It's one of the strongest pieces on the album because of its softer dynamics, and the acoustic guitar balladry is beautifully combined with Jayn's droning vocal performance. Ending Realms with something more somber and folk-influenced was a nice change in pace after the doom/post-metal material preceding it.

Honestly, as a debut, this is extremely impressive. It's gorgeous, intense, doomy-as-hell, and it takes pride in engulfing your ears in incredibly thick layers of darkness. Again, much of the album's quality comes from Jayn Wissenberg's sheer talent and charisma, especially behind the mic. Between her hypnotic vocal performances and the post-metal-oriented instrumental work, Darkher have proven that establishing a strong atmosphere and focusing on subtle songwriting shifts are among their strongest talents. The downtrodden beauty is really something to behold, and it'll be interesting to hear how they follow it up next time around.


Album · 2016 · Metal Related
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
Darkher is the name used by Yorkshire based musician/songwriter Jayn H Wissenberg in partnership with her husband/guitarist Martin T Wissenberg. Whilst sounding totally unique if you were looking for a reference I guess you could include Darkher in that group of female songwiters/musicians like Chelsea Wolfe and Julie Christmas who whilst not metal per se manage to transcend boundaries and are sometimes of interest to metal audiences because of the heavier elements introduced.

I’ve lived with Realms, the debut album from Darkher for quite a while now, since last year in fact and been meaning to review it for some time. Even after repeated plays it still manages to surprise me with its captivating unearthly songs brimming with stark beauty. Musically it ranges from sparse minimalism like the ethereal drone on Spirit Waker and Burried Pt I to heavier doom laden guitars like on Hollow Veil and Burried Pt II. Drums are present, supplied by a number of drummers, but are kept simple and under strict control with no room or necessity for fancy fills. Guitars range from the afore-mentioned doomier riffs, cleaner sounding parts too, but also for effect with ambient textures, Foregone being a prime example. Acoustic guitars add a folk feel at times as well. The icing on the cake though is Jayn’s vocals. The evocative album sleeve shows Jayn stood ghost-like in the middle of the moors conjuring up images of Emily Bronte’s Wuthering Heights – they’re both from the same part of the Country incidentally, giving an indication of what to expect. Her voice has a haunting melancholic beauty perfect for the stark autumnal atmosphere pervading the album. Lament, which closes things, is the perfect vehicle for this and a suitably memorable ending to a remarkable album.

Realms is a stunning piece of work. As already said this is not a metal album but if your musical taste’s stretch to include the likes of Myrkur then I strongly recommend checking out this incredible album and I’m sure you won’t be disappointed.

DARKHER Movies Reviews

No DARKHER movie reviews posted yet.


Please login to post a shout
No shouts posted yet. Be the first member to do so above!


Rating by members, ranked by custom algorithm
Albums with 30 ratings and more
Master of Puppets Thrash Metal
Buy this album from our partners
Moving Pictures Hard Rock
Buy this album from our partners
Rust in Peace Thrash Metal
Buy this album from our partners
Powerslave NWoBHM
Buy this album from our partners
Are You Experienced? Proto-Metal
Buy this album from our partners

New Metal Artists

New Metal Releases

Live Ecstasy Rotterdam 1991 Death Metal
Buy this album from MMA partners
Tales: Of Humanity And Greed Melodic Death Metal
Buy this album from MMA partners
Spirituality and Distortion Avant-garde Metal
Buy this album from MMA partners
Lamenting of the Innocent Traditional Doom Metal
Buy this album from MMA partners
More new releases

New Metal Online Videos

Xibalba - Enemigo
Tupan· 2 days ago
More videos

New MMA Metal Forum Topics

More in the forums

New Site interactions


Latest Metal News


More in the forums

Social Media

Follow us

Buy Metal Music Online